Alumni

This webspace informally archives past activities of both undergraduate and graduate student alumni from research projects associated with MESAS. Graduate and go do great things for our amazing planet!warren-thomas-spring-2015

Warren Pettee

summer2015-unidata-warren-01Warren PetteeWarren was a long-time member of MESAS research group starting as an undergraduate, and then working “on the side” on projects of data visualization via our campus weather station (which is the project he started as an undergraduate!). He is now working at University of Nebraska Lincoln and the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC) on how weather and cliamte data can best be interwoven with the web. He is also working on finishing a Masters degree in Earth Sciences here at UNC Charlotte, noting he also graduating with a Meteorology BSc in Spring 2015. His research project is to use WRF in various configurations on UNC Charlotte computers to evaluate mesoscale and microscale forecasting in the Southeastern USA. Warren began working on WRF in Fall 2013, and by Spring 2014, he had an “operational” nested-grid run to predict North Carolina weather from WRF. Operational weather forecast here means that Warren compiled and ran WRF within a time window that beat the next data initialization. He quickly developed a high level of proficiency at shell-scripting, NCAR Command Language (NCL), Python, a little bit of Fortran, and a lot of code-debugging. A very versatile skill set! Warren is active on twitter (@wpettee), was the co-host of Skytalk on Radio Free Charlotte, and was active in the UNC Charlotte Meteorology program for many years, including being a key organizer of student-run Weather Fests. He presented climatology work he completed with Dr. Matt Eastin at the UNC Charlotte Undergraduate Research Conference in Spring 2014. Warren was selected to be a 2014 Charlotte Research Scholar at UNC Charlotte. I posted about this on the department webpage, but it is worth saying again that he was among the 54 students selected from a pool of 150 applicants. CRS is an excellent program for undergraduates, and Warren received $4000 funding for summer research related to studies of weather on UNC Charlotte campus. His specific project was supervised by myself and Professor Matt Eastin – we worked together to bring the UNC Charlotte Meteorology Program “Niner Nation Weather” Display to life on the 1st floor of the McEniry building. This very outreach-oriented CRS project will also include some major computer work behind the scenes, and this is what Warren focused on. He presented his work at the CRS symposium in July 2014. Warren worked as a paid intern in the MESAS group on weather modeling and weather data management and display in 2014-2015, before graduating and joining the research group as a graduate student. His research project is advised formally by Professor Matt Eastin, but Warren continues to explore data and web-data interfacing as a part of the MESAS group.

William Ruble

crs-2015-maxWilliam (or “Max”) graduated in Spring 2016 with a BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences. He is working on a Masters in Climate Science and Solutions at Northern Arizona University starting in Fall 2016.

Cody Ledbetter

cody-ledbetterCody graduated in Spring 2016 with a BS in Meteorology. In Fall 2016, he started at UNC Charlotte in our Masters in Earth Sciences program working with Professor Casey Davenport on severe weather research.

Eric Bunker

eric-bunkerEric graduated in Spring 2016 with a BS in Meteorology. In Fall 2016, he started at the SUNY Albany Atmospheric Sciences graduate program.

Thomas Winesett

thomas-winesettThomas successfully completed and defended his Masters degree in Earth Sciences with an emphasis on Meteorology. He started at UNC Charlotte in Fall 2013, and graduated in Spring 2015, and he is now at the National Weather Service office in Jackson, Mississippi. While Thomas was at UNC Charlotte, he was partly funded as a Teaching Assistant with the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, and partly funded via external funding (Dr. Magi as Principal Investigator) from NASA NC Space Grant in Spring 2014, Summer 2014, and Fall 2014. His Master’s project investigated whether microwave remote sensing data from satellites sensors could be used to determine cloud-to-ground lightning. He used DMSP SSM/I data and ground-based National Lightning Detection Network data, and learned about the power of programming via Python, as well as bringing his forecasting expertise to bear on the problem via archived radar data from NCDC and GR2 Analyst. Thomas attended AMS 2014 in Atlanta as a Student Assistant, AMS 2015 as a presenter at the Student Conference and Full Conference (see Presentations), and made many trips out west for storm chasing in 2014 and 2015 (here), so he remained an active participant in the meteorology community as well as being a graduate student researcher. His Master’s research project is in press for publication in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology (JAMC), which is a top AMS journal. See publications page for updates there.

Amber McGinnis

amber-mcginnisAmber finished her Meteorology major in Spring 2014. She worked on an Independent Study course credit in her final semester at UNC Charlotte studying lightning climatology in the Charlotte region from the National Lightning Detection Network. Her work explored whether there were any detectable biases in where lightning tended to occur in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. Initial results suggested parts of the counties indeed had more lightning, but more investigation is needed to study a longer time series of data. Amber was hired by Accuweather in Wichita, Kansas.

Sean Malone

bluemarble.westSean finished his Meteorology major in Spring 2014 and worked on Independent Study course credit in Fall 2013. His project investigated the correlation between NLDN ground-based lightning and OTD/LIS space-based lightning observations. Preliminary conclusion suggested seasonal lightning patterns were similar, but more investigation is needed to understand magnitude differences.

Daniel Cunningham

danielcunninghamDaniel Cunningham graduated with a Meteorology BSc in Spring 2013. He was a part of MESAS through the CRS Scholars program at UNC Charlotte that provided $4000 in summer funding for Daniel to do this research. Daniel was one of the 50 UNC Charlotte undergraduate students selected out of a pool of over 170 applicants! Daniel worked with Dr Magi on a project called Lightning and Fires from June-July 2012. For the Lightning and Fires project, Daniel examined whether there is a statistical relationship between lightning over North America where data is readily available and where data is not readily available. This is a study using remotely-sensed lightning observations from NASA satellite sensors. Daniel presented his results on 25 July 2012 at a CRS Symposium. Daniel continued his research from CRS during the Fall and Spring Semesters of his senior year in Independent Study with Dr Magi. He presented his work at the January 2013 AMS conference in Austin and at the UNC Charlotte Undergraduate Research Conference in April 2013. Daniel won 1st place for his URC poster. Daniel was working on a Masters degree in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alabama Huntsville.